So you decide to become an entrepreneur, be your own boss, create your system and business, make loads of money. You have this wonderful business idea and you are burning to launch your startup (here are tips on developing profitable business ideas). So what’s next? Well, you need to name your business; that name will be your brand. Then you need to get that name registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria, CAC. How to register a business name in Nigeria is what this article is all about.
A lot of people battle with questions regarding business name registration. Should I get my company registered? When is the best time to do that? How do I go about it? Do I need a lawyer or a professional to assist me? What does it cost to register a business name in Nigeria? And the list is endless. If you have any of these questions, I have answers for you in this article.
Before you proceed, you need to decide what type of business you want to run. Basically, there are four categories of businesses you can register with the CAC. This article lists and explains all four of them. So here are questions people often ask about business name registration in Nigeria – and their answers.
Q: Should I get my company or business name registered?
Answer: Yes. You should get your business name registered. There are many good reasons you want to do that:
- For the most part it gives you a level of integrity. No corporate organization would do business with you as an individual. Getting registered is a way of telling people you are in it for the long haul, so people are more relaxed when dealing with you.
- Without registering your business, expanding your business the way you would like will always be difficult. You don’t imagine running a business that spans the entire country with a name that doesn’t exist. Of course, your business does not exist if it’s not registered.
- You cannot get access to loans, grants or attract investors if you are not registered. There are many opportunities that are available for business growth and you simply cannot access them as an individual. Think about it. Would you invest your money in a business that is not registered? If that is not enough, read this article.
Q: When is the best time to register a business name?
My honest answer would be to get registered the moment you decide what you want to do and what name your business would bear. The most important reason is that you will be building this brand and the last thing you need in your entrepreneurial career is to establish a brand only to find out someone has registered the name you built your business on. Or to build the brand and someone files a lawsuit for doing business with their name. Of course, you got the name first. But they registered it first.
Q: How do I register my business name?
You register your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (CAC). They are located in every state capital in the country. You will find all their requirements on their website. It’s a very straightforward process and takes little or no time provided there are no glitches like if you choose a name that is already registered.
You will be required to submit three names for name search. The reason for submitting three names is so that if your primary name was registered by someone else, which happens more often than not, you pick any of the other two names and proceed with registration.
When your name search clears, you fill registration forms and make payments at the bank, you go ahead to the nearest Federal or State High Court for attestation. I paid around N300 for this at the court. Be watchful for people who might try to rip you off. When everything is all cleared, you submit the forms and other required documents which are all listed and explained on the CAC website. A few days after that, you will collect your registration certificate. It’s that simple really! You will receive adequate directions and instructions from their staff. My experience with them was quite pleasant and friendly. It took me barely 14 working days to register the business name for my first startup.
Q: What does it cost to register a business name in Nigeria?
As at the time of writing this article and unless anything changes, registering an enterprise (sole proprietorship) should cost you N10,750 and a limited liability company should cost you a little over N50,000. You will find a summary of their fees and forms here.
Do I need the service of a professional to register my company with the CAC?
No, you don’t. Registering your business is not as difficult as you might think. In fact it’s not difficult at all. All it takes is walking into any office of the CAC and telling them what you want to do. Unless you do not have the time or you have enough cash to throw around, which most new entrepreneurs do not, I wouldn’t involve the services of anyone just yet..
What are your questions? Let me know in the comments box. I welcome your contributions as well. Here’s to your entrepreneurial success. Cheers!!!